Date: 4/1/17 5:00 pm
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57...>
Subject: [cobirds] Of sage thrashers, sandhill cranes, strange coincidences, and the inevitable arbitrariness of eBird
Okay, that sounds like the beginning of a really lame April Fools joke,
but, actually, it's a true story. Here goes...

Yesterday, Friday, March 31, Andrew Floyd and I had an errand to run, and
we just happened to be in the vicinity of Prince Lake No. 2, eastern
Boulder County, where we saw a drive-by *sage thrasher
<http://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/52946471>.* It was raining, and I was
lazy, so we just snapped a few photos from the car. I sort of brought the
car to a stop. Then, this Saturday morning, Apr. 1, Hannah Floyd and I had
an errand to run in the exact same vicinity of eastern Boulder County, so
we stopped by--you guessed it--Prince Lake No. 2, where we saw a drive-by *sandhill
crane <http://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/53036331>.* Same deal as the day
before: rainy, lazy, sort of stopped the car, snapped a few photos from the
car, and continued on our way.

Now here's where the story gets weird.

When I went to eBird the 3/31 sage thrasher, the smart search
("S"..."A"...) took me to s-a-n-d-h-i-l-l, but not to s-a-g-e, because sage
thrasher trips the Boulder County filter in March, but sandhill crane does
not. As to the 4/1, sandhill crane, it was déja vu all over again: The
eBird smart search ("S"..."A"...) returned s-a-g-e, but not
s-a-n-d-h-i-l-l, because sandhill crane trips the Boulder County filter in
April, but sage thrasher does not. Is that freaky or what? And it reprises
a recent thread at the CFO Facebook site, wherein (certain) folks were
grousing about the (allegedly) too-tight filters for Colorado. I, for one,
consider the Colorado eBird filters to be set at just the right tension,
especially along the well-birded I-25 corridor. And, well, you have to draw
boundaries somewhere (3/31 for *SA*ge thrasher, 4/1 for *SA*ndhill crane,
etc.), and I coincidentally got burned twice: Same place, same car, same
situation, *SA*me first two letters. Even Bill Kaempfer couldn't have
devised such a scheme.

Over at the nearby Greenlee Preserve–Waneka Lake–Thomas Open Space–Hecla
Pond ecological complex, eastern Boulder County, things were decently birdy
this dreary Saturday morning, Apr. 1: among 40 species, a pair of *wood
ducks,* a drake *hooded merganser,* molting *horned grebes,* a hybrid *northern
flicker,* a *prairie merlin,* *American bushtit *pairs, a singing *Rubicon
kinglet,* a latish *dark-eyed junco,* *white-crowned sparrows* on the move,
a *spotted towhee* that couldn't quite commit to singing a full song, and *common
grackles* out the wazoo. Photos, audio, and eBird checklist here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35609657

Ted Floyd
Lafayette, Boulder County



e

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Colorado Birds" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to cobirds+<unsubscribe...>
To post to this group, send email to <cobirds...>
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/cobirds/<8d3cc84f-a3b0-48aa-963a-64beddd15835...>
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

 
Join us on Facebook!